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You’re Using Your Smart Phone All Wrong

Technology can be a pain in the neck!

Do you ever feel like your head and your shoulders are becoming one? You’re probably using your smartphone all wrong. The distance between your ears and your shoulders is getting closer and closer together as the day goes on, posture worsens and stress levels increase. Did you know some of this tension, pain and discomfort can be caused by how you are using your smartphone? Looking down to text, scrolling through the latest news on social media, and checking your calendar and emails can cause strains to the neck and upper back muscles. It can lead to knots or muscle spasms and inflammation in the joints. Some may experience nerve pain across the shoulders, down the back or into the arms.

What You Can Do:

  1. Limit your time on your smartphone. Regular breaks are needed. Make an effort to get off of your phone after 20 minutes and move around.
  2. Maintain good posture. Hunching forward (as we are all guilty of) exacerbates the stress and strain on our neck, upper back and shoulders. Using proper ergonomics can go a long way in preventing smartphone-related injuries. Try to hold your phone higher to reduce the amount of looking down that is needed. If you have a project or task that is going to take longer, sit or stand comfortably at your computer instead of using your phone. For tips on proper ergonomic setup for your desk, check out our previous blog post “Devices And Posture”.
  3. Do regular exercise that helps to strengthen and stretch affected areas. Yoga and Pilates are great examples of exercise to include in your routine. Ask your chiropractor, physiotherapist and registered massage therapist for specific exercises to address your area(s) of complaint.
  4. Avoid cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder. We have known not to do this for many years, yet we still are guilty of doing it. Holding our head and neck in this position is a recipe for neck and upper back pain. If you must do something else with your hands while on a phone call, then use a wireless headset, Bluetooth or earbuds to make your calls.
  5. Seek help. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, talk to your chiropractor, physiotherapist and/or massage therapist. Each one of these healthcare providers is skilled in assisting you with repetitive strain injuries from smartphone usage.

All the portable technology has allowed us many opportunities, but there are some drawbacks if not used correctly. We hope these tips assist you in not falling victim to tech neck. If you do find yourself in need of care, contact our CURAVITA clinic or book online.